Six Pregnant Sheep Found Mutilated in New Zealand

The killing of six pregnant sheep on a golf course in Taranaki, New Zealand, has authorities concerned for public safety.  

According to senior sergeant Kyle Davie, an officer with the Patea police, the ewe's shoulders and legs were sliced off and their bellies slit open.

"They cut their throats—not enough to kill them. They've been left to walk around until they collapsed. Then they've been massacred basically," said Davie.  "I'm hoping they were dead by then, it's certainly something they didn't deserve."

The sheep were discovered Friday morning near the Patea Golf Course club house.

Bevan Dobson, the sheep's owner, said he had lost sheep in the past to thieves stealing meat, but that this time nothing was taken.  The killer had herded the animals into a yard at the end of the golf course, where they are normally kept when the course is in use; and, once trapped, were chased down and slaughtered.

"This is just murdering I suppose," said Dobson.  "There was one that had about 15 big slash marks."

"Usually people just flog them for meat but they've just mutilated these six. They've obviously been penned up and chased around."

"They have cut their throats and let them go off and bleed to death, then they've slit open their bellies and cut off the shoulders. To do that - the mentality of that person to slaughter a sheep like that."

"What's next, some old bugger walking along the street?" asked Dobson.

According to police, the incident may be connected to a rash of destructive vandalism that has recently afflicted the area.

"We believe they're all linked, and the same offender is involved in all of them," said Davie.

A rubbish bin was set on fire at the beach near the golf course earlier in the week, and burned to the ground; the tires were slashed on a tourist's car parked near the beach on Thursday; and the tires of two police cars were slashed the night of the mutilations.

These events have police urging residents to take caution.

"I think people have to be careful. We don't know where this is going to lead, someone lighting fires and going and slitting animals' throats... I don't want to speculate but it's not normal behavior," advised Davie.

Police do have a person of interest with whom they will be speaking, but ask that local residents come forward with any information they may have.

"We suggest that some people in the town will know who did it. If someone has heard talk around town, they may not have evidence to support it but we'd still like to hear from them," said Davie.

"At the end of the day the community needs to take ownership of things out there, to give us any information they can, so we can put a stop to it."

Although strange mutilations of animals is a fortean subject unto itself, these sheep show none of the trademark signs typically associated with the unexplained; such as exsanguination, organ removal, or surgical incisions.